Earth’s ecosystem is extremely complex, with more than one million animals. Yet have you ever asked how they named all these organisms? We normally in common language call Cow or cattle but do you know they are called Bos taurus according to Binomial Nomenclature sometime referred to as scientific name. Similarly we Human Being are known as Homo sapiens according to the scientific name. Read more life science topics here.

What is Binomial Nomenclature or Scientific Name

What is Binomial Nomenclature?

Binomial nomenclature is the standardized naming scheme used by all scientists to name living objects. It gives a bipartisan scientific name to each species. This is a systematic way of naming species of living beings by assigning each one a name consisting of two parts, all of which use grammatical Latin terms, though they may be based on names from other languages. Such a name is considered the name of a binomial, or a scientific name. Sometimes recognized as Latin name.

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How Does Binomial Nomenclature Works

Scientists from around the world are adopting a common collection of naming criteria for the species. There are two universal codes that are accepted for the naming procedure by all the biologists all over the world. These codes ensure that each organism is given a specific name and that name is known globally. They are as follows:

  1. ICBN, International Code of Botanical Nomenclature: It is responsible for the nomenclature of plants.
  2. ICZN, International Code of Zoological Nomenclature: It is responsible for the nomenclature of animals.

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Rules for Binomial Nomenclature

Before Understanding the rules for Binomial Nomenclature we have to understand the Animal Kingdom. Which is divided into a hierarchy of seven levels. They are given from higher to lower :

  1. Kingdom
  2. Phylum
  3. Class
  4. Order
  5. Family
  6. Genus
  7. Species

Now comes the rules for nomenclature. In Binomial Nomenclature, only the lowest two levels are used i.e., Genus and Species.

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  • It is a method of giving a name to each species consisting of two parts.
  • The first name or part is a generic name which is the name of the genus that organism or animal belongs to. And second name or part is Species, the specific name of that particular organism or animal.
  • Now comes the writing rule, how to write a scientific name? The first character of Genus name is written in capital and remaining is written in small. And in the second part species name is written in all small characters.
  • After writing the scientific name should be underlined or should be written in the Italic form. For Example Homo sapiens  or Homo sapiens

Now we should look at some more detailed examples.

  • The scientific name of humans is Homo sapiens. Where Homo is the name of Genus and the first character H is in Capital. And sapiens is the species name of humans.
  • The scientific name of American Cockroach is Periplaneta americana. Where Periplaneta is the name of Genus and the first character P is in Capital. And americana is the species name of American Cockroach.
  • The scientific name of Cow or Cattle is Bos taurus. Where Bos is the name of Genus and the first character B is in Capital. And taurus is the species name of Cows.

Visit the website of the International Union of Biological Sciences here.